A UK ferry company has been bought by a consortium of UK and Canadian pension funds, led the West Midlands Pension Fund and Insurance Board of the Province of Ontario.

Infracapital, the infrastructure equity investment arm of M&G Investments, sold the 100% equity stake in Red Funnel, the original Isle of Wight ferry company.

West Midlands Pension Fund, a local authority pension scheme in the UK, made the investment through the Pensions Infrastructure Platform.

Michael Campbell, director of the consortium, said: “We are delighted to acquire Red Funnel in a partnership comprising UK and Canadian pension schemes.

“Red Funnel, which plays a critical role within its community, is led by a strong management team and a committed workforce who are dedicated to delivering reliable, safe, essential Isle of Wight ferry services.”

Infracapital has owned Red Funnel since 2007, during which time it “benefitted hugely from a wide-ranging progamme of investment and improvement”, said Kevin George, chief executive of the ferry company.

According to Infracapital, Red Funnel carried more than 873,000 vehicles and 3.4m passengers in 2016, up from 555,000 vehicles and 3.0m passengers in 2006.

Ed Clarke, co-founder and director of Infracapital, said: “Red Funnel provides essential services to both residents of and visitors to the Isle of Wight and we are very proud to have supported the business over the last decade.

“The hard work of the management team and the investments we have made have yielded significant benefits to customers, the local community and its economy.”